Bald Eagle Watching Days Jan. 18-19, 2019

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See many bald eagles mid December through early March around the Inn at Wawanissee Point overlooking the Wisconsin River Valley, 15 minutes north of Prairie du Sac, Wis. Winter’s reward!

  • When there is extensive snow cover and when it’s cold, especially near zero degrees and the Wisconsin River is frozen below the U.S. Highway 12 bridge in Sauk City, Wis., 20 minutes from here, the eagles seek open water with undeveloped shoreline with large trees for fishing and perching.
  • When there is little or no snow and temperatures are closer to freezing the eagles feed in the area but spread out more along the River and in the habitat away from the River. Last winter we saw them feeding in the fields and road ditches adjacent the Inn!

Eagles also congregate in the Sauk Prairie community along the Wisconsin River for the evening roosting habitat found in the deep, sheltered valleys away from the river, mostly within the Ferry Bluff State Natural Area five miles southwest of Sauk City, Wis.

The eagles winter and thrive here thanks to the Ferry Bluff Eagle Council’s work—a local, grassroots organization of environmental and eagle enthusiasts who established this state natural area to maintain eagle habitat. Council volunteers monitor roosts along 30 miles of river and amid hundreds of acres of nearby land. ferrybluffeaglecouncil.org

Jan. 18–19, 2019 are Sauk Prairie's Bald Eagle Watching Days in Prairie du Sac and Sauk City, Wis. Annually the community and the Ferry Bluff Eagle Council host this educational celebration of the country’s majestic bird and its conservation success story.

  • Come learn more about this savvy raptor from guest speakers, displays, an eagle release, guided tours and experts at the overlooks to answer questions.
  • Event headquarters is at the River Arts Center at the Sauk Prairie High School, 105 Ninth Street, Prairie du Sac, Wis., 15 minutes south of the Inn.
 

Book your favorite guest room HERE or call us at 608-355-9899.

 

Viewing Locations

The Ferry Bluff Eagle Council has a permanent Public Overlook with a spotting scope next to the Ruth Culver Community Library at 560 Park Avenue in downtown Prairie du Sac. This is the least disruptive place to view eagles out of your car. Plus Council volunteers answer your questions Saturdays and Sundays in January and February, 8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Also view eagles from…

  1. Alliant Hydroelectric Dam off highway 78 just north of Prairie du Sac, Wis., which keeps the river open during winter, is the most active eagle-feeding area. It is critical that you stay in your vehicle in the parking lot below the dam. Here you will scare the eagles away if you get out of your car.
  2. VFW Park four blocks north of the highway 60 bridge and just south of the dam in Prairie du Sac. Follow the winding street to the river to park and view from your car.
  3. The Sauk City River Walk one block north of the highway 12 bridge. Parking is available behind/east of Water Street. This is a permanent Public Overlook with a spotting scope.
  4. Wollersheim Winery on highway 188 along east side of the Wisconsin River is a designated eagle-viewing area. It hosts an Eagle White wine tasting at the winery Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
  5. From the Blue Spoon Café and Ques Bar & River Deck overlooking the river in downtown Prairie du Sac.
  6. Park along Water Street overlooking the river between Prairie du Sac and Sauk City.
  7. As you drive highway 78 from our bed and breakfast to Sauk Prairie watch as you skirt Lake Wisconsin and the surrounding fields.
  8. Occasionally eagles feed at Devil’s Lake State Park, five miles west of the Inn. Check the blog at www.devilslakewisconsin.com for current sightings.
  9. Some years the eagles feed along the Baraboo River between the Inn and Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wis. Pull off at the boat landing along highway 113.
  10. Drive the Scenic Byway 60 Lower Wisconsin River Road www.lowerwisconsinriverroad.org, state highway 60 from Prairie du Sac to Spring Green www.springgreen.com.

Observe Birds Respectfully

It’s a thrill and unusual to experience the eagles as close as we do along the river in Sauk Prairie, sometimes only 100 feet away. The eagles feel differently, tolerating humans’ presence because they are hungry. Whenever possible, use your vehicle as a blind and stay inside it to view them, except at the overlook. Their sight is six to eight times keener than ours. When you must get out, slowly and quietly close the doors.

  • A frightened eagle may leave its perch with an empty stomach to roost for the evening.

On foot you’ll scare them, which is worst for the immature eagles that need to conserve their energy to survive the winter. During winter please don’t walk along the river, especially at the hydroelectric dam north of Prairie du Sac.

  • Eagle viewing is best in the morning when the eagles are most actively fishing.

Eagle Watching Bus Tours

Saturday mornings Jan. 5 to Feb. 16, 2019 at 10:00 a.m., Ferry Bluff Eagle Council volunteers guide a one-hour, educational eagle-watching bus tour with great views of the majestic bird with stops at the Ferry Bluff Eagle Council Public Overlook, VFW Park and Alliant Hydroelectric Dam in Prairie du Sac. To reserve a seat call the Cedarberry Inn at 608-643-6625, tickets $5.00 per person. These popular tours fill quickly. The tour departs from the Cedarberry Inn at 855 Phillips Blvd/Hwy 12, Sauk City. Learn more at ferrybluffeaglecouncil.org

  • On Jan. 19, 2019, the bus tours are free and depart from the River Arts Center, first-come, first-served, 9:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.

 

From our secluded winter resort…

  • Snowshoe explore beautiful solitude harder to reach in the growing season on hundreds of acres from our estate to the next-door preserve, natural area and park with our inventory of Redfeather snowshoes. Try a moonlit snowshoe a week before and after the Jan. 12 full moon for a breathtaking experience.
  • Cross-country ski with rentals from Devil’s Head Resort next door or Wildside Action Sports in Baraboo, Wis.. You’ll find groomed trails at Devil’s Lake and Mirror Lake State Parks and expanses to blaze at the Merrimac Preserve and Natural Bridge State Park.
  • Bask in the warm southern view from the Inn’s sunroom and three south-facing guest rooms for winter birdwatching at our bird feeders and over our prairie sanctuary.
 
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